South Sioux City suing Big Ox Energy and other companies

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KCAU) – The city of South Sioux City is suing Big Ox Energy and other companies relating to the closed waste-to-energy wastewater treatment facility.

The city filed the lawsuit in Dakota County District Court on Tuesday against Big Ox Energy-Siouxland, LLC, Big Ox Energy, Inc., 2014 Acquisitions 10 LLC, Wells Fargo Trust Company, N.A., Federated Mutual Insurance Company, Federated Life Insurance Company, Federated Service Insurance Company, Assurity Life Insurance Company, Catholic Order of Foresters, Nassau Life Insurance Company, and PHL Variable Life Insurance.

The city claims that Big Ox Energy-Siouxland, LLC and Big Ox Energy, Inc. shut down the facility early last year and stopped accepting the City’s wastewater after years of constant environmental problems and violations.

In a release, South Sioux City Mayor Rod Koch said the lawsuit looks to hold the Big Ox entities responsible for their actions and to hold them to their bargain. It is also seeking monetary damages to compensate for losses that it has incurred as a consequence of having to find an alternate facility to accept the city’s wastewater.

The lawsuit also seeks declaratory judgment concerning the city’s obligations under contracts involving the wastewater treatment facility’s operators, owners, and lenders. It said that Wells Fargo, which claims to act for the facility’s lenders, has claimed that South Sioux City should pay for its use of the wastewater treatment facility even though the facility is not in operation and the city has not sent wastewater to the facility in nearly two years. The South Sioux City City Council denied this claim in October, and the City seeks an order from the court declaring that the City is not required to make payments to the facility’s operator, the facility’s lenders, Wells Fargo, or any other party because the facility is not in operation and the City cannot send its wastewater to the facility.

South Sioux City said it remains committed to holding the Big Ox entities responsible, but it also continues to seek the best path forward for the City, its residents, and for the now-idled facility that the Big Ox entities formerly operated.

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